Ohio to target high-crash roads

Ohio changed the speed limit of a number of its highways from 65 mph to 70 mph back in 2013.

Now, state officials are considering changing some of those roads back to the reduced speed.

A recent report indicates that there has been an uptick of 24 percent in the number of crashes on the roads that have the increased speed limit -- even though the difference is only five miles per hour.

In addition, there's been a 22 percent increase in fatal crashes as well on the same roads.

Given the results of the study, the state already has plans to focus additional patrol efforts on three sections of highway that are particularly problematic and dangerous:

  • 1-70 on the east loop around Columbus, particularly in Licking County
  • 1-71 in the northern part of Ohio in Ashland
  • U.S. 33 northwest of Columbus in the area of Union County

Officers will be looking for specific patterns of behavior that could be responsible for the increased accident and mortality rates:

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Aggressive driving
  • Tailgating
  • Passing on the right
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Safety belt violations

If increasing patrol activity and the crackdown on drivers who are flouting the rules doesn't reduce the accident rates, the Ohio Patrol may request a temporary return to the lower speed limit to see if it makes a difference.

Insurance companies welcome the change. They had opposed the change to the higher speed limit in the first place. Ohioans aren't necessarily as enthusiastic. Many feel that speed isn't the major problem. Instead, they blame the issues on distracted driving.

If you're injured in an accident with a driver that was was texting, talking, eating or otherwise distracted while driving, consider exploring your legal options as soon as possible. It's important to consider the future effect of the accident and your injuries on your life and your ability to make a living before you agree to a settlement.

Source: US News Best States, "State to Target High-Crash Ohio Roads With 70 Mph Limits," Nov. 23, 2017

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